NOGALES, AZ — After 18 years at Omega Produce Co. Inc., here, Paul Bachelier has left the company to strike out on his own, launching a new Nogales produce company, Daily Fresh Distributing Inc.
Mr. Bachelier left Omega in September to “start something different, a new challenge,” initially representing “a grower in Hermosillo, [Sonora, Mexico] that I worked with for 18 years at Omega,” he told The Produce News Nov. 8. Although he had been very happy at Omega and the education he had received there while working with George Gotsis, who he described as “one of the best produce men in Nogales,” was invaluable, “I wanted to do something on my own,” he said.
The grower Mr. Bachelier will be representing in Hermosillo will provide him with products for the fall and spring seasons. “I will have Italian squash, yellow squash, cucumbers, mini-cukes, which is the Persian cucumber, red Bells, yellow Bells and green Bell peppers as well as eggplant” for the fall season, he said. In the spring, “I will have green squash, yellow squash, cucumbers, honeydews and grapes.”
The eggplant and squash are being grown open field. The green Bell peppers are being grown partly open field and partly in shadehouses, and the cucumbers and colored Bells are being grown in shadehouses.
The products are grown by The Orcis Bros. and will be packed in the grower’s “El Panuelo” label.
“I will probably handle about 800,000 packages in the fall and a little over a million in the spring,” he said. “This is just a small foundation that I want to work on and build on.” His plan is to “hopefully get a couple of real good growers in Culiacan, [Sinaloa, Mexico]“ to bridge from the end of the Hermosillo winter deal to the start of the spring deal, he said. “Whether I do it this year or not, it depends. But by next year, I’ll be able to go from the first of October all the way through.”
For the present, “I am here by myself,” Mr. Bachelier said. In the future, he hopes to hire a sales coordinator who can work into sales.
The new company’s present grower in Hermosillo has many forms of food-safety certification, such as GlobalGAP, Scientific Certification Systems and Primus, as well as traceability, he said. “Everything that we get here is bar coded” to identify everything from when the seed was planted and “what was applied to that particular plant” to “who picked it, who packed it and who received it here.”
The Nogales warehouse being used by Daily Fresh is also third-party certified and is a state-of-the-art facility with around-the-clock remote monitoring.
“We try to take care of the product for the grower as well as for the consumer as best we can” to insure “longer shelf life, better results for the [customer’s] bottom line and better results for the grower,” he said.